Greenville is the county seat of Pitt County and principal city of the Greenville, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area. Greenville is the health, entertainment, and educational hub of North Carolina's Tidewater and Coastal Plain and in 2008 was listed as the Tenth Largest City in North Carolina, as well as the fastest growing city within ALL of North Carolina. In January 2008, Greenville was named one of the nation's "100 Best Communities for Young People" by the America's Promise Alliance. In March 2008, Greenville was ranked in the top ten of the nation's "Best Places For Business And Careers" by Forbes Magazine. In 2004, Greenville was named Sportstown USA for the state of North Carolina by Sports Illustrated and the National Parks & Recreation Association. The city is also known as "BMX Pro Town USA"as it is home for many top professional BMX riders. The city's official population estimate as of July 1, 2008 is 79,629 residents. The Greenville Metro Area includes 172,473 people. It is the home of East Carolina University and Pitt County Memorial Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in North Carolina and employs over 6,000 people. Please become a part of Greenville! - Home of the East Carolina Pirates!
The health care community in Greenville is one of the largest in the state of North Carolina. Pitt County Memorial Hospital is one of four academic medical centers in North Carolina and serves as the teaching hospital for the adjacent Brody School of Medicine. The hospital hosts over 1700 licensed medical providers and serves over 1.2 million residents of the region. Many medical offices and clinics along with the hospital and university teaching facilities lie on Greenville's west side, comprising what is locally known as the Medical District. Currently the East Carolina Cardiovascular Institute is now open and added 250 jobs at the hospital along with a state-of-the-art six floor medical center.
Greenville is home to a wide range of cultural events on and off the East Carolina University campus. East Carolina University offers musical concerts, theatrical and dance productions, travel films, and lectures. The Greenville Museum contains local art, as well as rotating exhibitions. Annually over 3,000 children participate in programs offered by the Museum and over 12,000 people visit the museum. Theater is beginning to emerge in Greenville as well. Local groups such as the Greenville Theater Project and the Magnolia Arts Center offer outlets for both performers and audiences alike. Smiles and Frowns Playhouse produces children's theatre. Additionally, student groups such as SWASH Improv offer entertainment at the university and local establishments
Restaurants and nightclubs offer live entertainment on the weekends and Uptown Greenville has a district that includes numerous venue options. The downtown area is known for its large annual Halloween street party and live music bars. Considering the size of the city, Greenville has a large number of bars and nightclubs located downtown, due in large part to the location of ECU's campus a few blocks away.
Greenville is the regional shopping destination for the Inner Banks area since many big-box retailers and specialty shops are located in the city. Greenville Mall (formally Colonial Mall Greenville and The Plaza) is the city's enclosed center, featuring over 60 shops anchored by Belk and JC Penney. Other large centers include University Commons, Lynncroft and Arlington Village. Greenville Grande, Carmike Cinemas, a mix of cafes, restaurants, shops, and a fourteen screen movie theater recently opened. A new development called 11 Galleria, on the site of the former Carolina East Mall, will feature a number of big-box retailers, including Sears, Kohl's, and the Fresh Market. This new shopping center will contain 400,000 sq ft of retail space.
ECU's sports teams, nicknamed the Pirates, compete in NCAA Division I-A as a full-member of the 12 team Conference USA. Facilities include the 43,000 seat Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for football, the 8,000-seat Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum for men's and women's basketball, and the Clark-LeClair Stadium, with a seating capacity of 3,000 (max capacity of 6,000+ when including outfield "Jungle" areas) for baseball.
Greenville has a strong tradition in Little League Baseball. Greenville Little Leagues was founded in 1951 and has two leagues; North State and Tar Heel. Along with Little League success, Pitt-Greenville softball teams have won multiple world series titles. Since 2006, Greenville has sent Babe Ruth baseball teams to Southeast Regional competition each year in two different age groups, with two teams reaching the Babe Ruth World Series; the '06 15 yr. old team, and the '08 13 yr. old team. The 2006 team became the first Greenville Babe Ruth team to reach the World Series in 30 years, along with becoming the first Babe Ruth team to ever win a World Series game, defeating Clifton Park, NY 12-0.
Several major U.S. and state highways converge in the area to provide easy access to the interstate highway system. Major highways that run through the area include US 264(Martin Luther King Jr. Highway), NC 11(Memorial Drive), US 13, NC 33, NC 43, and NC 903. Greenville is North Carolina's largest city without a major interstate; however, Interstate 95 is located 32 miles (51 km) to the west of the city. Greenville is currently widening lanes on Memorial, and the intersection of Fire Tower. Greenville's busiest roads are along Memorial, Greenville Boulevard, Arlington, and Fire Tower. Greenville is the most congested city in Eastern NC. Greenville is expected to complete the southwest bypass in 2018. It stems from the 264 intersection on Statonsburg Rd. It has currently been stalled due to funding cost.
Greenville is also served by railroads. CSX Transportation moves the northern and southern parts of Greenville, Norfolk southern serves the eastern and western parts of Greenville. Air service is available through Pitt-Greenville Airport with scheduled flights daily to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport via USAirways.
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